The case of Dred Scott shot to fame as it was successful in inciting unrest among the northern and the southern states of America during 19th century. It was a firing example of a gutsy initiative of a slave, who had no rights, and was not even considered a human being. The struggle started in the year 1846 when Dred Scott and his wife Harriet Scott sued Irene Emerson for their freedom in St. Louis Circuit Court.
Irene Emerson was the widow of Dr. John Emerson, who had bought the Scotts from one Blow family. Dred had stayed in the state of Illinois and Wisconsin territory, which were free from the clings of the slavery rule, while changing abodes with Dr.Emerson. When Dr. Emerson died Irene used to hire Dred and his family to others. Dred finally sought his freedom by pleading in the court.
Initially his request was denied by the court but he was allowed to appeal again. The second time, the decision was in his favor but Irene Emerson challenged the verdict in the supreme court of Missouri, which reverted the right of Dred to be free. Though Dred later filed a suit in federal court at St.Louis but his ownership had been transferred to the brother of Irene, John Sanford. The agonizing experience of Dred Scott didnot end even though he raised his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, in 1857, which may be considered as one of the most infamous decisions, proclaimed Dred Scott not a U.S citizen, and confirmed that he had no legal rights at all to ask for freedom or anything. Further the court reprimanded the Missouri Compromise as being unconstitutional in banning slavery in some states.
Kutler compiles the comments of Charles Sumner on this instance, who opposed the decisions of Chief Justice Taney as:
I speak what cannot be denied when I declare that the opinion of the Chief Justice in the case of Dred Scott was more thoroughly abominable than anything of the kind in the history of courts. Judicial baseness reached its lowest point on that occasion. You have not forgotten that terrible decision where a most unrighteous judgment was sustained by a falsification of history. Of course, the Constitution of the United States and every principle of Liberty was falsified, but historical truth was falsified also. . . . (111)
It is hard to consider oneself as a property of somebody, which restricts the exercise of fundamental rights. The irony is, such systems have existed and filled the pages of history. The weak has always been ruled by the strong till the time no resistance is posed. But as evident from various incidents from the past, humanity cannot remain oppressed for long. Every creation of God has freedom to live and so they find their ways of liberty, however constrained they are.
I would never like such norms in the society or the nation. I fully believe that all men are born free. Nobody has the right whatsoever to take this right from anybody for any selfish reasons. For civilized society to exist and thrive, it becomes mandatory to make sure that it works in the interest of its people constituting it. It may turn sick if the people are not happy.